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Best cylinder vacuum cleaners to tackle dirty floors and carpets

Filthy floors and carpets? Time to bring in the big guns and invest in a cylinder vacuum cleaner. We've rounded up top products that Mumsnetters love.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Jan 16, 2024

best cylinder vacuum cleaners

There’s so much to consider when shopping for a new vacuum cleaner. Corded or cordless? Upright? Or what about a robot vacuum?

Cylinder vacuum cleaners are great at tackling dirt and dust on carpets and hard floors, even taking embedded pet hair in their stride, and they’re often lightweight and easier to manoeuvre than cumbersome uprights.

But which cylinder vacuum is best for you? From Dyson to Shark to Henry, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite products, as tried and tested by Mumsnet users.

If you're looking to get things looking shipshape at home, we also have handy guides to the best vacuum cleaners, the best carpet cleanersbest cordless vacuum cleaners, the best robot vacuum cleaners, the best steam cleaners and the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair.

Best cylinder vacuum cleaner overall

Henry Bagged Corded Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner

What we like
  • Large capacity, so won’t need emptying much

  • Comes with a variety of tools that are easy to attach and detach

  • Works well on carpets and hard floors

What we don't like
  • Quite bulky, so may be difficult to store if you’re limited on space

Key specs

Price: £130 | Bagged/bagless: Bagged | Capacity: 6 litres | Weight: 7.5 kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Mattress nozzle, crevice nozzle, upholstery nozzle, dusting brush, combination floor nozzle.

What Mumsnet users say
Yessers · Tried & Tested
Henry Hoovers are great for pets and for everything else.
See Post
Favouritefruits · Recommended
You can’t beat a Henry hoover, it’s suction is amazing!
See Post
Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our full Henry Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner review

As far as Mumsnet users are concerned, Henry is the king of cylinder vacuum cleaners. This model comes with a comprehensive selection of tools, a 10-metre-long power cable and a hefty six-litre capacity, so you can pretty much vacuum anywhere you like, for as long as you like. And what goes in, stays in, as Henry’s self-seal tab locks all the dust in the bag, meaning emptying is a mess-free experience.

The one downside to Henry is that he is rather on the bulky side, which may be a problem if you struggle to move larger vacuums or if storage space is limited. But for durability, versatility and the affordable price, Henry takes the crown as Mumsnet’s best cylinder vacuum cleaner.

Read next: The best budget vacuum cleaners - our favourite products under £200

Best budget cylinder vacuum cleaner for pet hair
What we like
  • Very large capacity

  • Variety of tools

  • Great for extracting stubborn pet hair

What we don't like
  • Heavier and bulkier than other cylinder vacuum cleaners

Key specs

Price: £169 | Bagged/bagless: Bagged | Capacity: 9 litres | Weight: 8 kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: combi floor tool, Airobrush 270 for deep-cleaning carpets and large areas,  Airobrush 14 for stairs, upholstery and smaller areas, crevice tool, dusting tool, brush and mattress tool

What Mumsnet users say
MyShoelaceIsUndone · Tried & Tested
I have the green pet one... Two cats, [it’s] brilliant.
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30degreesandmeltinghere · Recommended
Better than our Dyson and we have four dogs!!
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Our verdict

Well, we couldn’t ignore Henry’s punchy little cousin, could we? Henry Pet Pro has a penchant for pet hair and effortlessly gobbles up mess left behind by even the dirtiest of dogs. This vac also does the business when it comes to long human hair too.

Just like the original Henry, the Pet Pro comes with a range of useful tools and a huge nine-litre capacity, meaning he has an insatiable appetite for dust and dirt. But like Henry, this vacuum cleaner is also heavy and bulky, so the Pet Pro’s size is something that would need to be taken into account when purchasing.

Read next: Get sparkling clean floors with our pick of the best floor cleaning products

Best cylinder vacuum cleaner for pet hair

Miele 12031880 Complete C3 Cat & Dog Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner

What we like
  • Excellent at tackling pet hair

  • Good selection of tools included

  • HEPA AirClean filtration system absorbs allergens

What we don't like
  • Requires disposable Miele vacuum bags

Key specs

Price: £319 | Bagged/bagless: Bagged | Capacity: 4.5 litres | Weight: 7.3 kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Hose, tube and floorhead, crevice nozzle, upholstery nozzle, dusting brush, TurboBrush

What Mumsnet users say
SummerDayWinterEvenings · Tried & Tested
Miele Cat and Dog – 13 years and as good as the day I got it. Endless dogs and animals here and it’s no problem.
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mbosnz · Recommended
My Miele C3 Cats and Dogs is fabulous. It's got great suction on slate, laminate and carpet, and picks up both pet fur and women's long hair. Lots of it.
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Our verdict

Pipping the Henry Pet Pro to the title of best cylinder vacuum cleaner for pet hair is the Miele 12031880 Complete C3 Cat & Dog Bagged Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner. It’s a powerful cylinder vac with good suction and a handy range of tools for removing pet hair from your carpets and upholstery. The Miele Cat & Dog’s charcoal Active AirClean filtration system works with the Miele HyClean 3D dust bag to absorb odours and allergens around your home.

The Miele Cat & Dog is lighter and smaller than the Henrys, so it is easier to manoeuvre and store. But it is worth remembering that it has half the capacity, so be prepared for more trips to the dustbin. Forking out for more dust bags also adds to the cost of what is already a pretty pricey vacuum.

Read next: Revive and refresh tired looking carpets with the best carpet shampoos

Best compact cylinder vacuum cleaner
What we like
  • Extra large wheels for a smoother vacuuming experience

  • Compact for easy storage

What we don't like
  • Small capacity - expect more bin trips!

Key specs

Price: £219 | Bagged/bagless: Bagless | Capacity: 1.6 litres | Weight: 9.44kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: 3-in-1 tool

What Mumsnet users say
ApolloandDaphne · Recommended
I recently bought this one. It is small and light but very powerful. I love it.
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Our verdict

The AEG AL61A4UG Cylinder Vacuum has extra large, chunky wheels for easy manoeuvrability and this also helps the AEG adjust to any surface with ease. These soft wheels, coupled with the vac’s soft bumper, means that this is also probably one of the quietest vacuums you may ever experience.

Despite the mega wheels, the AEG is a compact little vac and can be easily stored horizontally or vertically, taking up very little space. Of course the trade-off is that it only has a small capacity of 1.6 litres.

Best Dyson cylinder vacuum cleaner

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Cylinder

What we like
  • Extra large wheels

  • Powerful suction

What we don't like
  • Smaller capacity than other cylinder vacuum cleaners

Key specs

Price: £499 | Bagged/bagless: Bagless | Capacity: 1.6 litres | Weight: 7.7kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Turbine head, tangle-free turbine tool, combination tool, stair tool

What Mumsnet users say
Lackofsleepforyears · Tried & Tested
We currently have a Dyson Big Ball Cylinder Vacuum. It is great on carpet.
See Post
NurseP · Recommended
I love a dyson with a ball.
See Post
Our verdict

All that mighty Dyson power in one neat little vacuum? Yes please! Mumsnetters love the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Cylinder, which effortlessly deals with all the dirt, dust and hair laying around the place. A combination brush and crevice tool allows for easy cleaning of surfaces, edges and right into narrow gaps, while the stair tool with its velour strips takes care of any hair and dirt on stairs.

The Dyson does have a smaller capacity than some other cylinder vacuums on our list, but it also comes with a higher price tag. You may feel the extra power is worth parting with the extra pounds, or alternatively you may decide that a vacuum with a larger capacity for a lower price may meet your needs.

Best bagless cylinder vacuum cleaner

Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat and Dog Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner

What we like
  • Great selection of tools

  • Integrated tool storage to keep things neat and tidy

  • HEPA Lifetime Filter traps allergens and pet odours

  • Cord can be rewound using foot control - handy if you struggle with a bad back

What we don't like
  • On the pricey side

  • Heavier than the other cylinder vacuums on our list

Key specs

Price: £399 | Bagged/bagless: Bagless | Capacity: 2 litres | Weight: 11.1kg | Run time: N/A | Charging time: N/A | Included tools: Turbo brush, dusting brush, upholstery nozzle, crevice nozzle

What Mumsnet users say
BigBundleOfFluff · Tried & Tested
I have both the cx1 blizzard cat and dog (bagless) and an older bagged cat and dog. Both are terrific vacuums and cope very well with 3 long haired girls and a golden retriever. All Miele's are heavy and I think the bagless one is heavier but it's a doddle to empty and I find it less of a faff than changing the bag (and remembering to order the bags!)
See Post
Our verdict

Now this is a cylinder vacuum cleaner that means business. The Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat and Dog features something called Vortex Technology to suck up every last ounce of dirt, including lint, hair and fine dust, from a range of different surfaces. A 10-metre operating radius, handy telescopic wand and range of attachments allows you to reach even the grubbiest nooks and crannies.

It’s true that the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat and Dog is one expensive bit of kit. But pet owners swear by its awesome power and ability to deal with all the mess and unpleasant pongs that are part and parcel of pet ownership.

What is a cylinder vacuum cleaner?

In a nutshell, a cylinder vacuum cleaner is a vac broken down into two parts - the main body, which is on wheels and pulled along behind as you vacuum, and the suction head. The two are joined together by the hose.

Cylinder vacuums can be bagged or bagless and the vast majority run on mains power.

Are cylinder vacuums better than upright vacuums?

It’s really a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer cylinder vacuums because they’re generally more lightweight than even the best upright vacuum cleaners, therefore kinder on the back, with long, flexible hoses, long cords and, in some cases, telescopic wands allowing for a larger cleaning radius and easy cleaning of stairs and other hard-to-reach places.

However some cylinder vacs are on the bulky side (looking at you, Henry) which may make them harder to manoeuvre and store than a traditional, upright vacuum. In terms of suction and power, cylinders can more than hold their own against uprights.

How to choose the best cylinder vacuum cleaner

Here are some key things to consider when deciding on which is the best cylinder vac for you.

Power: What air wattage does each vacuum cleaner offer? Anything over 100AW will give you a powerful and efficient clean.

Bin capacity: Cylinder vacuum cleaners generally have a larger capacity than the best cordless vacuums. A larger bin capacity means that you can clean for longer but your vacuum may be heavier. A smaller bin may mean a lighter vac, but depending on how much vacuuming you have to do and how often, you may find yourself taking more trips to the dustbin than you’d like.

Weight: Cylinder vacuums vary in weight. A lightweight vac is easier on the back and is better for people who may have mobility issues or health problems such as arthritis. But as mentioned above, a lighter vac often goes hand-in-hand with a smaller bin capacity, so this is something that should be taken into consideration.

Tools and accessories: Make sure you check which tools come with your cylinder vacuum cleaner, for example pet tools, crevice nozzles and brushes for upholstery, to make sure your vacuum is up to the task. Some cylinder vacuum cleaners come with telescopic wands, which are great for reaching underneath furniture or upwards, for example tackling the stairs. Others don’t have this feature, so make sure you check carefully before purchasing.

Price: As you can see from our list, the price of cylinder vacuums varies. Top-of-the-range vacuums from big name brands like Dyson and Miele can set you back several hundred pounds. Although some say this is well worth the investment, a vacuum in a lower price bracket may be enough to meet your needs. Or if you really have your heart set on the latest Dyson or Shark, shop around, compare prices, or wait until Black Friday to bag a bargain (assuming your vacuum cleaner hasn’t conked out by then).

What’s the best cylinder vacuum cleaner to buy?

Mumsnet users love a Henry for tackling this particular household chore. We love the Henry Bagged Corded Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner for its generous bin size and long cord length, but mainly because it is a solid and dependable machine that gets the job done. Complete with a winning smile.

What’s the best Dyson cylinder vacuum cleaner?

The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Cylinder has strong suction and many would argue that it’s worth splashing the extra cash on this one.

What’s the best Shark cylinder vacuum cleaner?

The nifty Shark Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner may not have all the bells and whistles that you find on other Shark vacuums, but this lightweight vacuum does the job well.

How we chose our recommendations

When compiling our list of recommendations, our team of experienced, trusted parenting journalists spend hours researching every product category, using a variety of sources to analyse and evaluate which products perform best. Many of the recommendations for cylinder vacuum cleaners came from Mumsnetters themselves who’ve spent hours of their time putting the products through their paces to clean their own homes.

We searched the Mumsnet forums for posts about which cylinder vacuum cleaners Mumsnetters really rated and then researched expert review sites and retailers, such as Argos, Amazon and Currys, to allow us to accurately hone our list of tried-and-tested products.

During our research, we vetted each vacuum cleaner, considering the quality, suction cleaning power, weight, manoeuvrability, extra features, material and overall performance to ensure they performed well across the board.

About the author

Laura Cooke is a Content Editor at Mumsnet, with a special focus on home care content.

Laura started writing Swears By articles for Mumsnet in 2021 and has recently taken over responsibility for floor care and laundry content. She writes buyers guides, including what to consider when buying a robot vacuum cleaner, cleaning articles and tests products, including the Henry Quick vacuum and the Beldray 60m Rotary Airer, to help Mumsnetters make informed choices when it comes to parting with their pennies.

Laura is also a freelance journalist and has written articles for publications including the Daily Mirror, the i, Metro, Stylist and Happiful magazine.

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